Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Impact of Three Direct Links on the "Nation of Taiwan"

The Impact of Three Direct Links on the "Nation of Taiwan"
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 12, 2008

The most important achievement of the Chiang/Chen Meeting is the full scale implemention of three direct links. The Democratic Progressive Party launched violent large scale protests. But it did not raise a single objection to three direct links. This is both puzzling and thought-provoking.

The Democratic Progressive Party knows that three directs links is a macro level trend. Therefore it has no reason to object. On the other hand, the Democratic Progressive Party knows that the implementation of three direct links has reached a point of no return, both in cross-strait transportion and in social psychology. Therefore, the Green Camp's anxiety level has skyrocketed, even though it is unable to offer any reason for opposing such links. Their loss of focus has led to desperation. Their desperation has led to violence. Their violence has led to bloodshed in the streets.

The merits of three direct links have been subjected to two decades of debate. Globalization pressures, the Mainland's increasing economic and trade influence, and Taiwan's marginalization, have finally led to today's scenario. In fact, the three links signed into law by the Chiang/Chen Agreement was something the DPP sowed and the KMT reaped. That is why no one is openly objecting to today's implementation of three direct links. The only laments heard are that they should have been implemented years ago.

Three links are essential to Taiwan's economic survival. They are a prerequisite for Taiwan's development into a region platform or regional center. But the political impact of three links is that Taiwan will only be able to take the Republic of China path. It will no longer be possible to establish a "Nation of Taiwan."

If the Democratic Progressive Party opposes three direct links, it should have declared openly that it would oppose them to the death during the Chiang/Chen Meeting. It should have declared openly that if the Democratic Progressive Party ever regains power, it will immediately terminate the three direct links, including direct flights.

The reality is that even the Democratic Progressive Party does not dare to oppose direct flights. How could it possibly terminate direct flights? The Democratic Progressive Party opposed the Chiang/Chen Meeting, but it dared not oppose direct flights. The result was an utterly pointless and bloody confrontation in the streets.

During the Chiang/Chen Meeting, the Green Camp waved the Republic of China flag. Green Camp leaders demanded that the name of the Republic of China be preserved, and the dignity of the Republic of China President be upheld. At one level, this was merely a way for the Green Camp to mock the ruling administration for inability or unwillingness to defend the title and dignity of the Republic of China. But at a deeper level, this revealed that even the Green Camp is dimly aware that the strongest line of defense in the Taiwan Strait is the Republic of China, and not their fictitious "Nation of Taiwan."

During the October 25 Democratic Progressive Party rally, Green Camp leaders went so far as to hold high portraits of Chiang Kai-shek. It was as if we had returned to the Republic of China of the 1950s, and were using "Exterminate the Communist Bandits" as a battle cry against today's mainland. Three direct links have forced the DPP to return to the Republic of China path.

The Republic of China and the "Nation of Taiwan" are Taiwan's two major political and economic survival strategies. Domestic and foreign experience over the past 20 years has show that the Republic of China path may be difficult to traverse, but the "Nation of Taiwan" path is a road to nowhere. Three direct links is a policy that the Democratic Progressive Party sowed, and the KMT reaped. Its implementation confirms that Taiwan has no choice but to choose the Republic of China path, and must abandon the "Nation of Taiwan" path. That is because three direct links is not merely an economic and trade policy; it is a political and economic strategy that has passed the point of no return.

In fact, the "Nation of Taiwan" opposes three direct links, but is afraid to say so. This is because Taiwan independence advocates know if three direct links are further delayed, Taiwan's economic situation will deteriorate even farther. The "Nation of Taiwan's" policy of opposing direct flights can no longer be maintained. The three direct links have crossed the point of no return. The concept of a "Nation of Taiwan" is now more unrealistic than ever.

Therefore, unless the Democratic Progressive Party opposes three direct links, and declares it will terminate three direct links if it ever regains power, it has only one choice. It must choose the Republic of China's definition of national identity and cross-strait policy. It can no longer propose a "Nation of Taiwan." Can anyone imagine three direct links co-existing with a "Nation of Taiwan?"

During this unreasoning and bloody street confrontation, the Democratic Progressive Party was gripped by anxiety over three direct links. Instead of softening or playing down its demands for Taiwan independence, it issued shrill demands to "Eradicate the Communist Bandits," to "Attack the Envoy," and to "Let the Streets Run Red," as its means of advocating a "Nation of Taiwan." It abandoned all pretense of reason. In effect, the DPP painted itself into a corner. Yet Tsai Ing-wen characterized it as a "glorious victory."

The era of three direct links has arrived. It is time for the "Nation of Taiwan" to engage in new thinking. The DPP must reaffirm the political framework of the Republic of China. If it continues to define its national identity and cross-strait policy according to the political framework of a "Nation of Taiwan," it will merely rip the island apart, both in the parliament and in the streets.

Chen Yunlin's visit replaced "peaceful reunification" with "peaceful development." By the same token, the DPP must snap out of its "Nation of Taiwan" pipe dream, and come home, to the Republic of China.








「江陳會」期間,常見綠營舉出中華民國國旗,並時聞捍衛國號或總統名銜的言論。從表面看,這只是綠營用以羞辱主政者的手法,譏其不能或不敢維護「中華民 國」的國格與尊嚴;但就深一層看,這也顯示,綠營在潛意識上亦已感知,兩岸對陣的防線是在「中華民國」,而非在虛擬的「台灣國」。


「中華民國」與「台灣國」,是台灣政經生存戰略的兩大選項。二十年來的內外經歷顯示,「中華民國」的出路誠是艱辛萬狀,但「台灣國」卻必是死路一條。其 實,三通直航之所以走到今日「民進黨興工/國民黨剪綵」的地步,也就是印證了台灣不得不選擇「中華民國」的路線,而否棄了「台灣國」的路線。因為,三通不 只是經貿政策,且是一個穿越不回歸點的政經綜合戰略。



但是,這一場不可理喻的街頭流血卻顯示,民進黨在三通直航的焦慮中,竟然非但沒有柔化或隱化台獨主張,反而變本加厲地訴諸「消滅共匪」、「侵襲來使」、 「街頭流血」的手段來主張「台灣國」;這是喪失理智的表現,民進黨形同在兩岸政策上將自己逼到死巷牆角,但蔡英文卻視此為「光榮的勝利」。



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